Press release

Extra lane on M1 smart motorway scheme to give early boost to motorists in South Yorkshire

Drivers in South Yorkshire will benefit from extra capacity from Tuesday 6 December when an extra lane opens on the M1.


The hard shoulder will be opened between junction 34 for Meadowhall and Rotherham and junction 35a for the A616 Stocksbridge bypass, as part of a smart motorway to increase capacity. Variable speed limits will be used to keep motorists moving.

Overhead electronic signs will also help to prevent queuing and keep drivers informed about the journey ahead, and emergency refuge areas provide a safe place in case vehicles break down.

Next week, speeds will be limited as the technology is calibrated.

Highways England’s senior project manager Andy Kirk said:

We are investing a record £15 billion on improving our roads, making journeys easier, safer and quicker.

Smart motorways are a safe way to increase capacity on our roads and proven to cut journey times and wasted hours stuck in traffic.

This is a great milestone in the scheme, with more than 100,000 drivers a day benefitting from four lanes of road ahead of the smart motorway full opening next year.

Roadworks and a speed restriction of 50mph will remain between junction 32 (for the M18) and junction 34 (for the Meadowhall and Rotherham) while work continues. The scheme which is 10.5 miles is expected to be completed next year.

Find out more about driving on smart motorways.

For more information, visit the scheme website.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 5 December 2016